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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hurricane only lightly laps at Brothers & Sisters, and that's a good thing

    This past Sunday's "Nearlyweds" marked the final Brothers & Sisters of 2009.  Like almost all ABC shows, this one could not go out for a break without a cliffhanger.  Thankfully, it wasn't the one that was most expected, but it was a tad over dramatic.

     Kitty (Calista Flockhart) has been battling cancer this year in a plot that feels less than fresh.  Of course things would flare up and lead to her collapsing at her brother's wedding.  Why not?  I do not understand, however, how her tumors stopped her from breathing.  And if she was in such dire shape, why would the doctor tell her to come in on Monday instead of immediately?  I am willing to forgive this lame plot, however, because it saved her marriage to Robert (Rob Lowe).  Last year, Kitty was also the one with the crappy plot, as she had an emotional affair and almost left her husband.  Thankfully, because Rob Lowe is, as usual, fantastic on the show, it seems to have been worked out.

     The other plot I am less than thrilled with is Nora's (Sally Field) new, young doctor boyfriend.  He has bad skeletons, and I could have told you as soon as Nora mentioned investing that he was a schemer who would run off with her money.  Apparently, though, the producers have decided to stretch that puppy out, as though he skipped the wedding, they didn't delve into it.

     Not to be too negative, though, because Brothers & Sisters gets most of it right.  For instance, though his name still appears in the opening credits, we have had to endure very little screen time from new half sibling Ryan (Luke Grimes).  He was not well received by fans when he showed up, including this one, and his part has been cut down dramatically.  On the other hand, Uncle Saul (Ron Rifkin) who usually has far too few lines, seems to be very involved in the last couple episodes, even performing the wedding finale, if a bit too over-dramatically.  Viewers of Alias may have a hard time reimagining Rifkin as a doting uncle instead of a creepy villain, but he has won me over.  Plus, the more frequent popping ups of David (Ken Olin) are always a pleasure.  And, for the first time since the series began, Holly (Patricia Wettig), while always a delicious actress, has been likable, a welcome development.

     The biggest triumph, though, was the handling of Justin (David Annable) and Rebecca's (Emily VanCamp) love story.  When Rebecca was first introduced as the lost sibling, it was clear there was wonderful chemistry between the two characters.  Wisely, it was decided that she was not a sibling.  This finale was their wedding, and it almost didn't happen.  While some of the fighting was a bit forced, Justin was consistent in his doubts of himself, and Rebecca truly did know him.  That's why it worked out, as it should.  I, along with many others, would have been up in arms had the pair permanently split, and while they didn't get the chance to say 'I do' this fall, surely they will already be wed by the time the show returns in January.

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